South African telecoms giant MTN Communications could rake in over $2 billion from a likely sale of its stake in IHS wireless. The company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ralph Mupita disclosed that the company would sell its stake, at a reasonable valuation. The telco giant has total debt of $4.8 billion according to its FY 2017 results. MTN in its financial statements for the year ended December 2017 classified its investment in IHS as Available For Sale.
IHS had in November last year disclosed that it was considering possible listings on the New York and London Stock Exchange.
MTN has a 29% stake in IHS. It first acquired a 15% stake, then got an additional 14%shareholding when it exchanged its 51 percent interest in Nigeria Tower Interco BV (IHS Nigeria).
IHS is one of Africa’s leading telecom infrastructure providers in Africa. The company builds, leases and manages telecommunications towers. IHS has over 20,000 towers and operations in Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon, Cote D Ivoire and Rwanda. IHS had revenues of $904.7 million in 2016 and employs about 2000 staff. IHS is owned by private equity firm the Wendel Group, Goldman Sachs and MTN.
MTN (formerly known as M-Cell) was founded in 1994 and has over 200 million subscribers. The company is one of the three largest telecommunications firms in Africa. MTN made a $278.2 million profit for the 12 months ended December 2017, up from a loss it made in the previous year due to provisions on a fine for its Nigerian arm.